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See also: Tansy


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From Old French tanesie, tanoisie, tanasie, tanaisie, from Medieval Latin tanacetum, atanacetum, attested since the 8th century[1], of obscure origin, speculated from Ancient Greek ἀθανασία (athanasía, immortality) owing to hallucinations from the thujone in the plant, else from taenia (tapeworm) due to its primary use against parasites by which reason it is called in Arabic حَشِيشَة الدُود(ḥašīša ad-dūd, literally worm herb), otherwise a Berber borrowing like tagetes.

Unknown tall yellow flower bgiu.jpg


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtanzi/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtæn.zi/


tansy (countable and uncountable, plural tansies)

  1. A herbaceous plant with yellow flowers, of the genus Tanacetum, especially Tanacetum vulgare.
    • 1913, DH Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Penguin 2006, p. 365:
      The sunny afternoon was there, like another land. By the path grew tansy and little trees.
  2. (uncountable, obsolete) A dish common in the seventeenth century, made of eggs, sugar, rose water, cream, and the juice of herbs (including tansy), baked with butter in a shallow dish. "Originally flavoured with tansy, but by Pepys's time generally having spinach as its predominant flavouring."[2]
    • 1662, Diary of Samuel Pepys:
      I had a pretty dinner for them; viz., a brace of stewed carps, six roasted chickens, and a jowle of salmon, hot, for the first course; a tanzy and two neats' tongues, and cheese the second; and were very merry all the afternoon, talking and singing and piping upon the flageolette.

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  1. ^ Genaust, Helmut (1996), “Tanacétum”, in Etymologisches Wörterbuch der botanischen Pflanzennamen (in German), 3rd edition, Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, →ISBN, page 628: tanaceta in a poem by early 8th-century bishop of Milan Benedict
  2. ^ The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume X: Companion[1], University of California Press, 2000, →ISBN, retrieved 2020-07-09, page 615